Arrest made in Wallace stabbing

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 13, 2009



LAPLACE – A Napoleonville man was arrested Sunday evening in connection with the stabbing death of a Wallace woman earlier that morning.

Anthony Henry Tillman, 33, was apprehended around 7:15 p.m. in Gibson after he led police on a car chase through Assumption and Terrebonne Parishes, said Capt. Dane Clement, public information officer for the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office. Clement said Tillman is accused of stabbing his girlfriend, 33-year-old Saneria Michelle Johnson, to death inside her Wallace home early Sunday morning.

According to a report from the Sheriff’s Office, deputies found Johnson with multiple stab wounds on her chest and back just after 6 a.m. Sunday. The report states a friend and co-worker of Johnson had gone to her home on West Fourth Street in Wallace to check on her and called police after he found her unresponsive on the floor of the home.

Clement said when deputies arrived, they discovered some of the contents of the home were in disarray, leading officers to believe a struggle took place. He said Tillman, Johnson’s boyfriend of 15 years, was not at the home where Johnson was found. Clement also said Johnson’s car was missing from the driveway and reported stolen in a national crime database.

After several interviews, detectives named Tillman as the prime suspect in the stabbing. Clement said investigators discovered Tillman had previously been arrested in Houston in August of 2006 for battery against Johnson. Clement said Tillman also has a series of prior arrests in Assumption and Terrebonne parishes.

The report said the couple had separated in the past but had been together the last two weeks. When deputies arrived at the home, however, they found packed bags near the door of the home that contained some of Johnson’s personal belongings, a fact that may have indicated she was planning to leave. Authorities would not reveal anything further about the investigation.

Later that morning, Johnson’s car was spotted in Napoleonville about 40 miles west of where the stabbing took place. Clement said police in the area tried to stop the vehicle but were unsuccessful. He said a pursuit of the car led authorities to Chacahoula in Terrebonne Parish, where deputies eventually lost sight of it. The car was later found abandoned after it had become stuck in a muddy area. Multiple law enforcement agencies searched the area where the car was located for Tillman but were unable to find him. He was finally located several hours later by Terrebonne Parish sheriff’s deputies.

Clement said Tillman was booked into the Sherman Walker Correctional Facility in LaPlace on charges of second-degree murder and auto theft. He remains in jail on a $500,000 bond.